We’re excited to share the first of two blog posts by Jamie Kramer, mom of Molly!  Thank you Jamie!

As I sit here writing this blog post (my first ever!), I reflect on the past 11 months of my life. These have been the craziest, strangest, most exhilarating, joyful, weirdest, most frustrating, happiest months. Now you might be thinking: how can something be the most frustrating but also the happiest time? Readers, I introduce you to parenthood. I wanted to pay my experiences forward to others as I am so appreciative to all of the mothers who blogged, Instagrammed, Facebook posted, called, texted, or emailed me their advice which helped me through my first year as a new mom. So, thank you to Metropolitan Breastfeeding for providing me with this forum to do so.

Things I learned that every expecting parent should know

  • Hormones– They’ll make you feel like a crazy person. You’ll be laughing one second and crying the next. I was madly in love with my baby girl, so much so that it actually hurt me. I’ve never loved anything this much in my life (sorry hubby – it’s that different kind of love!). Yet, I would find myself bursting into tears out of nowhere. But, 2 seconds later, I was back to laughing and carrying on as usual. These crazy spectra of emotions lasted the first few weeks before finally leveling out.
  • Appearance– Don’t worry about what you or what your house looks like. You have to care for another human, every day and night. No one is judging you (at least they shouldn’t be!). Surrender to looking and feeling dirty and messy for a little while. This too shall pass.
  • Talk to someone– Even if you are in this with your partner, as a mother, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and lonely. Just know, you are not alone. Whether you seek help/guidance from family members, friends, or ‘mom groups,’ just find someone to talk to so you can get all those crazy emotions off your chest.
  • There is no ‘right’ way to parent– None of us know what we’re doing! If only the hospitals sent us home with an instruction manual! Parenthood is a wild ride and you learn as you go. You will make “mistakes,” you will have regrets. But everything we do, we learn from – the good, the bad, the ugly. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we are giving them unconditional TLC.
  • Sleep– Forget about your old sleeping habits. People told me I would never sleep the same again. I’m sorry, but it’s true (at least so far). Those first few months until our baby started sleeping through the night were trying. It took a village (and still does!) to all stay sane and make sure baby was fed; but once that chapter closed, another one opened – anxiety! She was finally sleeping through the night, but now we worry about her all alone in her room – is the temperature right, is she comfortable, is she well fed, is her diaper clean, does she want the white noise, does she not? Needless to say, we may be “sleeping through the night” too but it’s not that good, deep sleep we used to have. It’s ok. You make it work.

My biggest advice to all new moms out there is to enjoy the journey. There is no “destination” per se in having children. Your ultimate goal of course is for your kids to be happy and healthy their entire lives. But, in my mind, it’s the journey that counts. It’s those memories that your kids will look back on, we hope, with smiles. And even in those earlier years where they won’t remember much, we will. So, try not to sweat the small stuff. Have fun with it. Having babies is an exciting journey and whether you are doing it as a single parent or with a partner, remember to stop and laugh every once in a while, because dirty diapers, baby giggles, delirium and baby gibberish ARE funny!